The Malta Independent 21 January 2021, Thursday

MOAS returns to search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean

Friday, 4 December 2020, 11:43 Last update: about 3 months ago

MOAS, the very first rescue NGO to operate in the Mediterranean back in 2014, announced its return to the Central Mediterranean, alongside its new partner Sea-Eye, to conduct Search and Rescue (SAR) operations to save lives at sea and raise awareness on the ongoing tragedy unfolding on Europe's doorstep, the NGO said in a statement.

MOAS will be operating on board of the new rescue ship Sea-Eye 4, and will be providing personnel, resources, strategic input and expertise.

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The Sea-Eye 4 is a former offshore supply-vessel (built in 1972, 55 m long, 11 m wide) which is currently being converted into a SAR ship and will be able to accommodate and supply significantly more people than the previous Sea-Eye ships.

The joint MOAS/Sea-Eye mission is planned to launch in February 2021 with operational plans being developed over the coming weeks.

In 2020, over 700 people have lost their lives at sea (according to IOM data), for this reason, MOAS said that it and Sea-Eye have decided to join forces and save as many lives as possible.

"This year the Covid-19 pandemic has caused further deterioration of the migration routes, with many countries closing their borders and refusing to allow disembarkation of the people rescued at sea. Although we cannot put an end to the instability and ongoing conflicts which force people to leave their countries, we do have a chance to reduce the number of deaths at sea by providing assistance to those who, in their desperation, continue to attempt the Mediterranean crossing."

MOAS has also launched a fundraising campaign to support the operations and is calling on civil society to show solidarity.

The link to make a donation is: https://www.moas.eu/mediterranean-search-and-rescue-2021

Regina Catrambone, MOAS Director, stated: "We firmly believe that nobody deserves to die at sea in search of safety, that's why we founded MOAS in 2013: to save lives. We are very happy about this partnership with Sea-Eye, to share our knowledge and expertise on SAR operations.

"Between 2014 and 2017, with our missions in the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea, MOAS rescued more than 40,000 people. Now, together with our partners, we want to rescue as many people at risk as possible. Civil society strongly believes that the implementation of #SafeAndLegalRoutes of migration is important to avoid further deaths at sea". 

Gorden Isler, Chairman of Sea-Eye e. V., said: "We are proud to bring the MOAS sea rescuers back into action on our ship. This is a milestone for Sea-Eye. Our operational cooperation has one main goal: to save more lives together. Between 2016 and 2017 Sea-Eye and MOAS crews met in rescue operations in international waters. Now we are working together on the SEA-EYE 4".

 


 

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